Temperatures are heating up and the kids are counting down the days until the end of the school year, which means summer is right around the corner. While your ideal summer may be spent relaxing under a palm tree on a white sandy beach or zip lining through an exotic rainforest with your family, you can only make that dream vacation a reality by planning ahead.
Saving up for a long family vacation can seem overwhelming. As with any major purchase, a vacation
should be budgeted for. At TruWest Credit Union, we work with members to help them reach their financial goals, including ones that include a long getaway.
Here are three tips to help you save for the vacation you deserve:
Begin with the Big Picture
Establish a savings goal by determining the important elements of the vacation. Plan out where you would like to go, how you are going to get there and where you are going to stay. Then, take into account the cost for meals, activities and souvenirs. By identifying these expenses, you are giving yourself a solid number to reach and an end result that it’s associated with. This plan will also help you eliminate the risk of having a surprise expense pop up while you are away.
Adjust Your Budget
If you don’t have a weekly or monthly budget, saving for that dream vacation might be the motivating factor to get you to finally put one together. Not only will this help you with your other financial goals, it will also allow you to best utilize the paycheck that you work so hard to earn. When you discover where and how you spend your money, it’s easier to see what expenses can be scaled back. For many, setting a budget can be an eye-opening experience. You might discover money you didn’t even know you have, which can put toward reaching your vacation goal.
Open a Separate Savings Account
By opening a separate savings account, you can further organize your money and separate the amount intended for vacation. Name your account the vacation destination and it will help you focus on it more and motivate you to save. Think of this new account like the piggy bank you had as a kid. Automatic transfers from other accounts can be initiated, helping you to be intentional about your savings goal. Even if you start with just a little bit at a time, you are working toward the main goal and it can be increased when you feel like you can contribute more. You might be surprised by just how much you can save.
Written by: Alan Althouse, TruWest Credit Union
Alan Althouse is the President and CEO of TruWest Credit Union. TruWest Credit Union is headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., and operates as a cooperative to provide its members with a lifetime of quality financial services and a culture of caring for its members, employees and communities. TruWest has more than 89,000 members and assets totaling more than $1 billion. TruWest Credit Union has 13 branch locations—nine in Metro Phoenix and four in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit truwest.org.